Sports

World Cup 2014: 12 cities representing the best of Brazil.

By Luciano Graca

A lot has been said, discussed and polemically questioned about Brazil’s competence to host such an important and high-profile event like the World Cup.

Amidst the country’s ongoing disappointment and anger against its government, which resulted in a series of protests, there were concerns that Brazil wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

So far the tournament has provided an amazing display of professionalism on and off the pitch. Highly optimistic people are already considering this to be the best ever World Cup. And it’s been only seven days since the opening game.

Since The Wee G couldn’t make to Rio, we pulled out our strings of contacts in Brazil and invited 12 people, one from each of the host cities, to describe the place they live.

The result is a series of opinion articles highlighting why these spectacular cities were chosen to represent the best of Brazil. An insider’s view, that The Wee G will be publishing from today.

First stop is Brasília the country’s capital.

Meet Brazil’s Capital: Brasília

By Augusto Matos

Images Wikipedia

Brasília is the federal capital of Brazil. A fairly “young” city, built only 54 years ago. It has 2.5m inhabitants and is the world’s biggest city built in the 20th century. It is also, since 1987, the only city in the world built in the 20th century regarded as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.

Conceived by then Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitshek and designed by urban planner Lucio Costa and world-renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer, Brasilia is a modern city that favours open spaces, nature, architecture and the “Planalto Central’s” gorgeous sky.

There are many reasons why I’m fascinated about Brasília. The main ones are the abundance of green spaces, the organisation, the traffic that flows well, the safety, the gastronomy and cultural diversity. It has Brazilians from all parts of the country, and hosts 124 foreign embassies, making it the most cosmopolitan of the Brazilian’s cities.

In Brasilia, people respect the zebra crossing, you don’t hear the cars honking, and nobody cares who you are or where you come from, because everybody comes from somewhere else.

During the weekends, you can pick one of our beautiful parks to go running, walking or cycling, or take your family to a picnic in of the city’s extensive green areas.

My favourite places are the Parque Nacional de Brasília, the Parque Dona Sarah Kubitsheck, the Parque da Penísula dos Ministros and the Pontão do Lago Sul, with its six restaurants to cater for even the most peculiar client. In the latter, it is possible to practice Kite Surfing or SUP (Stand up paddle).

In terms of culture, the options are also extensive. From the National Theatre to the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, both included in the national and international route of big shows, concerts and exhibitions.

Image Wikipedia

Another great option is to get to know the works of Niemeyer scattered throughout the city. The most interesting are the headquarters of the National Congress, the Presidential Palace and the STF, and if you want to know more about the history of our beautiful capital, be sure to visit the JK Memorial.

Finally, if you want to party, the night life of Brasília also offers an amazing variety of bars, nightclubs and pubs that will appeal to all tastes. If this is your first time here, my suggestion is to dive into Brazilian culture, and visit a “boteco” (carioca style bar from Rio), taste a good feijoada (traditional Brazilian dish made of black beans and pork), and an icy cold beer to enjoy some samba.

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Suggestions here in Brasília where you can find that are Bar Brahma, the Asiatico Design&Cafe and Bar Brasilia. If you want to enjoy a feijoada, without much fuss and in a private place, the Le Jardin du Golf Restaurant at Brasilia Golf Club offers a delicious feijoada on Saturdays.

In my opinion Brasília represents the best of Brazil, and despite not having the beach (it’s only flaw), the city compensates with a lot of other qualities.

Welcome to Brasilia, wherever you come from!

 

Augusto Matos, 42, is a regional sales manager.

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